Aging Pets Need Special Care

Is Your New Shelter Kitty In A Panic? 4 Ways To Help Calm It Down

If you've adopted a shelter cat that was abused or abandoned, it might have been love-at-first-sight for you. Unfortunately, your cat might not be experiencing the same feelings, especially if it's afraid. Cats that have been abandoned or abused can require a great deal of love and encouragement before they're willing or even able to warm up to you. Don't give up on your cat though. In time, it will get over its apprehension, and become a loving member of the family. Here are four methods you can use to help your cat adjust to its new surroundings.

Keep Things Calm

Now that you have your cat home from the shelter, you'll need to keep things calm for a few days. Things like loud music, rambunctious playing in the house, or even loud voices may send your cat running. Until your cat is used to life at home, try to keep things as calm as possible. Play soothing background music, speak in soft tones, and take the rambunctious play outside. Eventually, these issues won't be a problem for your new cat.

Sit Near Its Hiding Place

If your shelter cat came into the house, and immediately found a place to hide, don't try to bring it out against its will. Instead, let it know that it's okay to stay there. Bring a pillow, something to do, and relax near its hiding place. Just sitting quietly nearby will let your cat know that you want to be near it on its own terms. When it's ready to come out, be there to greet it with kind words and a soft touch.

Offer Plenty of Treats

If your new cat won't come near its food while you're around, try offering a few treats. First, sit down on the floor a safe distance away from your cat. Slowly push a small treat towards it. If your cat moves as soon as you extend your hand towards it, roll the treat instead. Once your cat starts eating the treats, reduce the space between the treats and you. Continue to place the treats closer to you until your new cat will take them right from your hand.

Don't Box it In

If your new shelter cat was abused by its previous owner, or had a lengthy stay at the shelter, it might be fearful of enclosed spaces. Try to avoid boxing it in. If you're going to approach your new cat, be sure it has openings to escape by if it doesn't want to be near you.

If you've brought a rescued a cat from the local shelter, be ready with plenty of love. The tips provided here will help your cat adjust to its new home. If your new cat continues to exhibit signs of anxiety, or injures itself while trying to escape, talk to your veterinarian as soon as possible. It may need additional treatment, such as anxiety medication, to help it adjust. Your local emergency pet clinic is a great place to start for treatment options.